As I snuck into church on Sunday, a few minutes late, I was elated (and also a little embarrassed) as I found myself gently nudging into a spot in the front row. The pews were packed, leaving very little room for those of us who spent more than a few minutes wrangling small children. My usual spot is in the back left, so the front row was a new experience. And from my prime seat, I was struck by one of the questions for the Instant Sermon – Why go to church?
The reality is that Sunday morning is just one opportunity for us to “go to church.” A very important part of Plymouth involves Sunday worship, but that is just a blip of what Plymouth is about. As Moderator, I am the head of Leadership Council. That title may be meaningful to some, but prior to my time in this role, I didn’t even know the role of Leadership Council or Plymouth’s Moderator. What many people may not realize is that Plymouth is a seemingly endless web of opportunities to engage in “going to church.” Leadership Council oversees six boards and five committees. Each board has countless ministry teams, and on any given day, there are a handful of meetings and opportunities to help Plymouth, our community, and communities abroad.
There is nothing wrong with being a back pew Plymouth member. I have quite enjoyed the many hours spent with that view. But Plymouth is so much more than Sunday mornings. Plymouth is an amazing network of volunteerism, which breathes life into our congregation. But don’t fear! – whether you just need a brief reminder of what Plymouth has going on, or if the words “boards,” “communities,” “council,” and “ministry teams” are completely foreign, now is your chance to learn and engage!
On Jubilee Sunday, September 10, Plymouth is having an Involvement Fair between services. So if you’re ready to “go to church,” in a different way, please come see all the opportunities to get involved. Oh, and did I mention you could win a fresh-baked pie?
Wow! What a wild and wonderful Jubilee Sunday. I saw so many friends I had missed all summer, and I got to meet new friends. We talked about everything coming up for this year - Godly Play, Confirmation, OWL, fundraising, and so much more! In a lot of ways, it was like the first day of school.
In our time with children during the service, I talked about how the idea of jubilee felt like butterflies in my chest. There were many times I felt those butterflies as we celebrated Jubilee together. We shared our redecorated children’s classrooms for the first time. Our young kids put on an impromptu concert in the Sunday School room. We finally brought our new sixth graders into the youth group fold. And we spent some time dreaming about the future of Christian Formation at Plymouth in what feels like the most “normal” year since the pandemic. I loved listening to the different images of jubilee JT described, dreaming of what the kin-dom of God might look like here today. I wonder what jubilee feels like for you. I wonder what might inspire the world to choose jubilee - to choose rest, play, and liberation.
I know the school year has started. To me, jubilee feels like the start of a new thing. And we are starting a new program year strong. Now is the perfect time to jump in to jubilee.
Brooklyn McBride is Plymouth's Director of Christian Formation for Children & Youth. Brooklyn has served in local church and student ministries for the past several years. A native of northern Colorado, Brooklyn has professional experience leading in worship, youth, and children’s programs. Read her full bio here.
It’s almost fall! Public schools are starting. CSU students are returning. (Traffic is picking up!) And this Sunday, August 25th, we begin a new program year at Plymouth! We go back to our school year worship schedule, 9 and 11 am and 6 pm. At each service we will begin with processing in all of the chancel paraments (the colorful hangings), the candles, the Bible, the communion elements (at 9 and 6) as a way of celebrating the beginning of a new season.
I hope you will join us for worship! At our 10 am Education hour (which will be a fellowship time this Sunday), there will be wonderful breakfast burritos for sale just outside the Fellowship Hall at the north doors. $3 a piece! A festive touch to the coffee hour for this day. There will also be computers to register children and youth for 2019-2020 Christian Formation programming and Christian Formation volunteers to help you (or get a jump on it and register right now). And there will be tables with some Outreach and Mission volunteers activities to participate in during the coming weeks.
Even as we start a new program year we are still working with the all-church theme for 2019, “Going Deeper.” I hope you will consider going deeper through new avenues of participation in worship, in Christian Formation learning opportunities, in volunteer opportunities in church hospitality, Congregational Life events, Outreach and Mission work. Keep your eyes and ears tuned for all of these ways to participate in the life of Plymouth and in the realm of God we are helping to build here in our corner of Colorado.Read these weekly Reflections and the Thursday Overview emails. Read the Placard and the weekly bulletin inserts. Listen to announcements before the worship services. Check out all the bulletin boards in the Fellowship Hall. Come to the Taste of Plymouth/Dinner Church potluck next Sunday, September 1 at 6 pm. Participate in the All-Church Retreat (9/13-15) and the All-Church Spiritual Practices classes each Sunday in November. Ask a friend how they are participating and if you can join them!
Above all, listen to the yearnings of your heart and the questions in your mind. Discover how God is calling you to deepen your soul work, to deepen your faith. Are you in need of study, service, prayer, the creative work of welcoming others, visiting those who are ill or cannot get to worship? Feel free to email any of the staff with questions about getting involved!
Go deeper with Plymouth this fall! You’ll be glad you did!
The Rev. Jane Anne Ferguson, Associate Minister, is a writer, storyteller, and contributor to Feasting on the Word, a popular biblical commentary. She is also the writer of sermon-stories.com, a lectionary-based story-commentary series. Read more